"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, November 28, 2014

All About That...Destiny

The fifth graders' projects are coming to completion. You can read the first post on the project here: Exploring New Ways to teach Location and Access.

The students used this checklist and the template for the book trailer storyboard, but ignored the initial steps of the process. The project timing was not what I had planned and it ended up colliding with the School Expected Behaviors projects, which was tricky, but we managed!

All about Destiny

All about Checking Out Books 

All about the Neighborhoods

All about the Early Reader Neighborhood

All About the Picture Book Neighborhood
All about the Fiction Neighborhood

All about Graphic Novels

All about Biographies

All about Poetry

All about Folk Literature

All about Nonfiction

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and find...

I have been eager to read Sam & Dave Dig a Hole with my students. I have been a huge fan of Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett ever since I heard them talk about their writing and illustrating process for Extra YarnWhen they team up together, these two talented and successful people create well-wrought and thought-provoking books.  

I have waited for the proper time to read Sam & Dave Dig a Hole with students, one with ample time for discussion, luckily that occasion arose last week.  All I can say is, the experience was all that I hoped. I very much enjoyed watching the students faces and hearing them laugh as they followed Sam and Dave along on their quest for something spectacular. It's fascinating to see the reaction spread as they take in that Sam and Dave have not landed in the same place and then to watch and listen to the creative and critical thinking as the students try to piece together what might have happened. We also talked about how the journey is just as, if not more, important - because of the experiences and memories collected along the way.

After the discussion, the students used Storybird to share what they each thought happened next in the story. The ideas range from serious to silly, existential to theoretical. I should have had them write their idea first to see how much the art options in Storybird influenced their ideas. *next time*

November has been a busy and exciting month.


I was putting together a monthly "highlights" document for our library coordinator and realized a that November has been a fun and busy month. My students and I experienced and accomplished quite a bit! There were three volunteer projects outside of school this month that also added to the busy fun, which leads me to confess that I have not done any reading outside of school in the past thirty days. I plan to remedy this situation and take advantage of this long weekend - I am going to put together a bookstack, make a cup of tea, find a blanket and space on the couch -- and read!

Here are the highlights that I gathered, which are all blogposts from this month, so nothing new to those that follow the blog.

It was Picture Book Month, therefore many of the lessons and units connected to this theme.

The kindergarten students were engaged in an author/illustrator study of Denise Fleming. this study involved reading books and watching footage of Denise Fleming creating her art. The study also led us to recognizing those wondering questions that arise while reading and learning about our “wonder wall” (nonfiction neighborhood).

Grade One:
The first grade students took on a nonfiction picture book month challenge, which connected to both my library curriculum and the classroom curriculum. We used a Steve Jenkins author/illustrator exploration to aid in this unit. The students are learning to consume (and later produce) information from multiple sources.

Grade Two:
The second graders took on a nonfiction picture book month challenge, which connected to both the library and classroom curriculum where the students are learning about nonfiction conventions and distinguishing between nonfiction books that are good for research and those that are better for general reading. The students are shared cool facts that they were learning.

Grade Three:
The third graders have been busy reading toward their picture book month challenges and reconnecting with their library pals in Minnesota.

Grade Four
After the philae lander hit the comet, the fourth grade students and I shared a lesson on passion-driven information gathering, which tied in nicely to a review of how to access library resources - at home and at school.

Grade Five
The students continued to learn about our library during picture book month. They created Animoto videos to share their knowledge with the younger students.

Grade Four and Five:
Fourth and fifth graders used technology tools to communicate their thoughts and ideas. They practiced good digital citizenship.

Assessment and Reflection:

Project-Based Learning

the fifth grade teachers and i planned and executed a project-based learning experience related to our community’s behavior expectations.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A museum bedecked for the holidays.

The Concord Museum understands that the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year can feel long and dark. They've got plenty to brighten your days. There's a sweet exhibit of children's illustrator art along with a room full of furniture and bedding styles dating back to the colonial period.

Not only is there this wonderful art exhibit celebrating bedtime routines, there are many trees decorated in the theme of children's literature. It is called the Family Tree's exhibit, which includes this tree that I created and decorated with three good friends:

Mice, illustrated by Lois Ehlert.